Old 21st February 2014, 06:10   #1
Bryon Stout
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faking stats

Ever since the sale of shoutcast ive noticed some really odd numbers. Looks like some people are faking stats again.





17,000 yea ok buddy
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Old 21st February 2014, 08:08   #2
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these grapes are sour

Is it just me or are shoutcast users getting dumber?
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Old 21st February 2014, 09:44   #3
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825 mbps, it's possible, but unlikely
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Old 21st February 2014, 10:10   #4
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the top 10 stations have had potentially dubious numbers even before the transition and is something that will be re-looked onto (has been done in the past but nothing firm could be proved for most of them).

plus not everything on the back end has been rebuilt yet which stats handling is one off (most of it is there but there's a few little things not quite right which may not be helping).

so it is already known about and on the todo list, though with it all being a temporary site and the more part not working right, it could be causing more listener links going to the top few which will skew things for those ones. plus it doesn't help that the v1 DNAS is simple to hack to fool its reported numbers as has been confirmed on a few large stations previously...
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Old 21st February 2014, 11:23   #5
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I encountered quite a few techniques, where nothing firm could be proved.
When they were combined, a listing at the top of the directory was the result.
The broadcasters discussing these "tricks", did not see anything wrong in
what they were doing.

While a ratings system based on listener counts exist, Every exploit that is closed,
will be replaced by a new one.

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Old 21st February 2014, 11:31   #6
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There will always be ways to fake listener counts. But generally they rely on a single server or specific servers. So when a relay is setup for that station the relay won't see any or just very few listeners, even if its the top of the playlist on ShoutCast.com. Of course, a server could be getting the majority of its listeners through its own websites, but more often than not its just fake.

So a way ShoutCast.com could tell is by seeing how many attempted tune-ins vs listener count. If ShoutCast.com only sees a few attempts to tune-in but the server is reporting a very high or unrealistic listener count then it is most likely fake.
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Old 21st February 2014, 11:40   #7
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Jkey pretty much sums it up, whatever is done will always end up being circumvented. sure things can be done and there's a few things which can be to better ensure the validity of the information coming from the DNAS, but people will alter things and get around it (unless we start on a stricter banning regime than has been in place for a while).

and i'm fully aware that some station owners won't accept anything other than being at the top of any search result (even ones that aren't relevant to their station), but when everyone expects and tries to do that, some will fare better than others, but it sort of balances out things a bit. though it's more the listeners and the range of choice to them which is what i see as being impacted on the most and is what some of the changes made (like the single genre vs the mess of genre overloading which was in use prior to 2009) have been done as there's no point in having listings if the listeners are not able to find what they want.

so it's a weird balancing act in keeping stations and listeners happy when it comes to the Directory / API and it's never going to be 'right' due to the differing requirements of the two groups. though i've never understood some of the stations that want to have 1000s of listeners but aren't willing to deal with the costs that it involves, that's the biggest thing that has always concerned me about some of the station owners (more so from what i saw under the AOL setup).
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Old 21st February 2014, 12:11   #8
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I've known quite a few station owners who have completely faked their listener figures.... It's nothing new!!


One case in point: A station owner was bragging on another forum about having 20,000 listeners a week. I monitered his shoutcast stats page for a week most I'd seen it peak at was 32. I'm sure he was getting stream hits and web hits mixed up!

Why do they feel the need to lie through their teeth as to how many listeners they have? It's not something that should be allowed to happen.



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Old 21st February 2014, 13:54   #9
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Why do they feel the need to lie through their teeth as to how many listeners they have? It's not something that should be allowed to happen.
Do you have a ruler ? They and their rivals have an organ, whose size you can measure.

It is what it is .

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Old 21st February 2014, 14:00   #10
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is also so they can try to get more advertising money and the likes by having a larger claimed audience.

same as relying on the TTSL report (which is under review) to do such things (i've know a few stations who completely disagreed with it's output - which is just a guide and never claimed to be exact due to the faking going on - and they got very aggressive about it since they weren't in the top 20 or so when they deemed they should be.
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Old 21st February 2014, 15:26   #11
Bryon Stout
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I know its nothing new. For the longest time infowars was always at the top but now COOLfahrenheit with double of the normal large numbers.

Its annoying thats all. You should see the amount of freelance.com "wanted" ads there are for fake shoutcast stats.
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Old 21st February 2014, 18:37   #12
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Its annoying thats all.
that's the polite way of putting things and the YP connectivity issues aren't helping with what's being seen, but once things are stable, there will be a larger review of listings (like which has been done in the past to remove listings that were just pointless - too generic and obviously fake).
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Old 21st February 2014, 18:50   #13
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is also so they can try to get more advertising money and the likes by having a larger claimed audience.
Advertising revenue, if done right, pays for organ extensions, a nice car for example.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.
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Old 21st February 2014, 18:51   #14
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like a BMW or an Audi maybe?
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Old 17th March 2014, 16:38   #15
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faking is getting worse in shoutcast.com.... crazy.... whats going on with shoutcast.com ?
i have seen now few radios cheating stats
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Old 17th March 2014, 16:56   #16
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stations will cheat and will keep on doing it and all that can really be done (when people are using fake v1 DNAS or sending fake responses to the older DNAS as i know one of the ones in there admitted to and i now suspect is doing it again) is to ban them.

as whatever the default view is i.e. sort by # listeners or alphabetically, etc then stations will adapt to do what they can to be in the top of those initial search results. plus sometimes just being near the top of initial search results is enough to cause a cascade effect where more people listen and so in-turn causes more to listen and so on until that's all you'll ever see in the top of the default listings.

as a lot of stations believe it is their right to be the only one in the top spot, to only be in that genre and than no one else can have any name anything near to their own (despite looking at common names being re-used throughout multiple parts of the world), so at what point do you stop trying to counteract things without putting in more effort than it helps or even worse, causes platform and listener issues in the long run.

so yes something can be attempted to be done, but stations will work around things and it's then just a game of cat and mouse and in all honesty, after a while it becomes tiresome and just wastes developer time which could be put into doing useful things rather than trying to pacify stations with their specifics.

though it's not helped when other stations keep crying wolf on other stations without the proper means to validate the claims and so nothing can be done under speculation.

[edit]
and i'll look into the pm you sent when i'm able to (later tonight / tomorrow morning).
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Old 17th March 2014, 17:15   #17
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thanks dro.
i think you can see it... how their listeners stats jumped from yesterday to today lol crazy

thanks again for looking in
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Old 2nd April 2014, 17:56   #18
Bryon Stout
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Oh boy.. since the new takeover all these "stations" have 10,000 listeners now.

Is no one looking over this anymore?
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Old 3rd April 2014, 08:34   #19
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it is having an eye kept on things but there is nothing obviously wrong compared to what was seen before (other than the ones in the top which varies throughout the day anyway) as the listener handling in the YP has not changed as part of the migration.

as its following changes I made a few months before the sale which requires more frequent touch updates - unless that is exposing issues in old / fake DNAS (which has seen touch updates being incorrectly counted at times), but without explicit data to prove faking, there is nothing to do - as removing anything which seems dodgy could remove most stations.

and maybe horror of horrors, those are legit increases in listener numbers, but as this whole thread shows, stations do what they can to fake stats and the constant bickering between stations over their numbers is the main thing I despise about streaming! 'cause he's got more x than me than I've got and its not fair etc etc.

so maybe we should drop the prominence of listener numbers for SHOUTcast listings then there'd be little reason to fake numbers if that is what is happening and just provide results randomly so no one station is generally favoured (which I can just hear the complaints already just for making the suggestion).
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Old 3rd April 2014, 22:25   #20
Bryon Stout
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Thats a great idea. Although.. keep the stats so station admins know whats up with their stations but dont allow filtering / searching via the shoutcast site be available for the listener count.
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Old 3rd April 2014, 22:31   #21
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the stations can get stats from their DNAS anyway (and as far as most reporting requirements go, should be doing it anyway). and it's not like the easily abused ttsl reports exist anymore anyway. either way, we'll see what happens with such things when the site, etc are updated.
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Old 21st April 2014, 13:47   #22
pathtek4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryon Stout View Post
Ever since the sale of shoutcast ive noticed some really odd numbers. Looks like some people are faking stats again.





17,000 yea ok buddy

I usually lurk, but I just had to say, what is on that station is not getting the amount of "listeners" that are being pumped up. WOW
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Old 21st April 2014, 19:47   #23
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For sure.. which is why I posted this.

Im not "jelly" but it does affect me as it pushes me down from potentially being seen.
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Old 7th May 2014, 14:50   #24
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But doesn't music royalty payments escalate depending on listenership? If the royalty folks are monitoring the fake stats then the perps will stop the fluke.
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Old 7th May 2014, 14:52   #25
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But doesn't music royalty payments escalate depending on listenership? If the royalty folks are monitoring the fake stats then the perps will stop the fluke.
Not if they have a hacked version of a DNAS that reports higher listener stats but doesn't effect the logs. Ergo, no reporting of fake listeners to the royalty enforcers.
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Old 7th May 2014, 17:42   #26
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Or what if they are just plain rouge Shoutcast stations that pay nothing at all? just my two cents as we all know everyone pays royalties like we're suppose to (rolls eyes).

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Old 7th May 2014, 18:06   #27
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Amusingly, they have one of the worst bitrates, too. Might help them handle the load, but that number of listeners is still unlikely.
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Old 29th May 2014, 02:15   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garybaldy72uk View Post
I've known quite a few station owners who have completely faked their listener figures.... It's nothing new!!


One case in point: A station owner was bragging on another forum about having 20,000 listeners a week. I monitered his shoutcast stats page for a week most I'd seen it peak at was 32. I'm sure he was getting stream hits and web hits mixed up!

Why do they feel the need to lie through their teeth as to how many listeners they have? It's not something that should be allowed to happen.
I know this is a late reply, but if the person is selling any forms of advertising while faking stats makes the station owner in violation of some FTC guidelines.....

I know for a fact there is a huge crackdown that is starting to happen, you will see stations start to disappear that have faked everything, as once they get a case against them they will be too shamed to post about what happened on any forum or social media site.
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Old 29th May 2014, 02:20   #29
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But doesn't music royalty payments escalate depending on listenership? If the royalty folks are monitoring the fake stats then the perps will stop the fluke.
Most of these stations do not care to be legal, or pay anything. It's a money grab thats going to soon start to come to an end and allow others that are legit to come back to where they once were.
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Old 5th June 2014, 14:49   #30
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cough cough ... bullshit.. cough cough. fake stats.. cough cough. sneeze.

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Old 5th June 2014, 15:50   #31
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cough cough ... bullshit.. cough cough. fake stats.. cough cough. sneeze.

I've just tracked down their SC server http://198.50.197.161:8024/




As you can see it's more like just over 400 listeners than 2447.



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Old 6th June 2014, 03:04   #32
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Well looks like that have some relays.

[playlist]
numberofentries=6
File1=http://37.59.254.31:8024
Title1=(#1 - 93/734) : Ibiza Global Radio :
Length1=-1
File2=http://37.59.254.27:8024
Title2=(#2 - 94/734) : Ibiza Global Radio :
Length2=-1
File3=http://198.50.197.161:8024
Title3=(#3 - 101/734) : Ibiza Global Radio :
Length3=-1
File4=http://37.59.254.24:8024
Title4=(#4 - 115/734) : Ibiza Global Radio :
Length4=-1
File5=http://37.59.254.25:8024
Title5=(#5 - 116/734) : Ibiza Global Radio :
Length5=-1
File6=http://198.50.197.160:8024
Title6=(#6 - 122/734) : Ibiza Global Radio :
Length6=-1
Version=2


But knowing the electronic music industry very well, this just doesnt add up. I would put money on it that they are using a hacked v1 DNAS

Especially their 32 bitrate stream. 300 people using that right now? Ya, sure.
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Old 9th June 2014, 15:55   #33
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you're assuming that the DNAS status page is also correct which i doubt it is. as any DNAS version with that 'U' in the corner is dodgy (as no one even under the AOL days was able to give me a specific source of where that DNAS came from as there was never anything in the v1.x source code i could find which produced it).

whatever is going on (as i'm not actively looking at things as my focus is Winamp), people have always faked stats and will always keep doing it because everyone believes they have the right to be #1 no matter what (which is a bitch when everyone is trying to do it), though i strongly suspect that the decreasing of v1.x DNAS touch updates from 10mins to 5mins has caused more of the fake DNAS listings to show up (with the interval intentionally reduced to improve the frequency of v1.x based listing title updates).
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Old 13th July 2014, 15:27   #34
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Dear Dro,
please check your inbox
have sent you another Faker
thanks
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Old 14th July 2014, 00:50   #35
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without any proof, there is nothing i or others on the team will do. and tbh, all you seem to be doing is flagging tamil based stations and i really help there is not some sort of agenda behind only reporting those types of streams.

though maybe we should just blindly ban anything that is dodgy as well as anything that could cause offence or lead to people trying to take down other stations... oh wait, we'd have to turn off SHOUTcast to achieve that.
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Old 16th July 2014, 02:28   #36
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Down with shoutcast!
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Old 16th July 2014, 02:34   #37
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we can start with your station if that's what you want
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Old 16th July 2014, 06:08   #38
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hahah touche!
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Old 23rd July 2014, 18:21   #39
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Stations are listed on so many other things now that I know a lot of people don't look at shoutcast listener count to be honest. All their doing is faking on something that doesn't dominate the listings. So if there doing this, their just cheating themselves.

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Old 24th July 2014, 03:31   #40
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not...touche! Douche! lol....

DrO...pfffft. Good Job mate.

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